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September 3, 2014 / 8 Elul, 5774
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Our Jewish DNA


Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis

Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis

I couldn’t believe my ears. Most people, if they found themselves in a similar situation, would happily grab the job and run with it.

Her words left me nonplussed. Who but the children of Avraham Avinu would be capable of such chesed in our selfish “me”-centered world?

I called the gentleman from Boro Park to express appreciation and give him berachas. He assured me it was his zechus, merit, to do what he did, and if there was anyone to thank, it was his wife, who inspired him to make that call.

How many men in today’s world would credit their wives? But this too is part of our Jewish DNA. Was it not our father Abraham who gave the ultimate praise to our mother Sarah when he said to the angels, “Behold, she resides in the tent of Torah.”

As I was writing this column, my brother, Rabbi Yonoson Binyamin, called. He was checking on me and wanted to know my level of pain. As always, we spoke about our saintly parents and he recalled a beautiful d’var Torah from our revered father, HaRav HaGaon Avraham HaLevi Jungreis, zt”l. In explaining why the Torah commences with the letter “beis” rather than “aleph,” our father taught that “beis” is two, and if you wish to have berachas, “hob in zeen” – bear in mind – the needs of the other.”

As the story I related above attests, the chesed of Am Yisrael endures and we have never forgotten d’ yukna shel aviv – the image of our saintly fathers.

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